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health impact Former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter opens up about her battle with lockdown fatigue


Holly Carpenter

Holly Carpenter

Holly Carpenter

Former Miss Ireland Holy Carpenter has opened up about her struggles with lockdown fatigue in an open and revealing interview on Newstalk with Pat Kenny. 

Presenter Pat Kenny told how the 29-year-old Dublin model had tweeted the show saying she was feeling the effects of the lockdown and how many people she had spoken to were feeling exhausted and fed up.

She told Pat: “I think the weather is definitely helping people, you kind of notice everyone's mood is that bit better when the sun is shining and so it definitely helps.

“But I just think everyone is exhausted right now.

"I think it was Ciara Kelly who was saying that the message from Nphet and the Government isn't designed to support or encourage people to keep going right now and that's what I think is the biggest problem.

“We're not getting much encouragement and people have lost that kind of ‘we're in this together’ feeling and ‘we're nearly there’.

“I think people are really just feeling like it's going on and on and there's no end in sight really.

“I think (this lockdown is really bad) because everything now is the second time (round),” she added.

“It's hard because you're looking at the UK and Australia and America and it just seems like they've had a lot more guidance and clarity.

"I just feel like people are left in the lurch at the moment and we don't really know what's around the corner.”

Speaking about her own mental health struggles, Holly talked about her own personal experience and how it was particularly difficult being separated from her family.

“That really affected me,” she said.

“I have, since I was in my mid, early 20s, struggled with depression and anxiety and I think it worsened when I was living alone.

“I didn't know my neighbours at the time and my parents were outside of my 5K.

"Like a lot of people, I was just worried every day - worried about my family, worried about my friends and I was getting constant messages from young girls on Instagram saying that they were suffering.

“They wanted to know how did I stay so positive. They (were looking at) my Instagram stories where I was out for walks, I was cooking healthy meals, I was trying to do home workouts…but behind all of that I was really struggling.

“So, I felt that it would help people if I spoke out and said, ‘you know, ‘I have gone back on medication for a while, I'm not feeling great and I’m trying every day.

"But just so you know, from the outside looking in, if you're seeing my Instagram stories and you think it's all the sunshine and happiness and positive quotes, that's not how I'm feeling.

“I think that it really helped people.

“It was a surprise for people who are even friends with me and didn't really know either.

"It was like a weight off my shoulders (where) I kind of felt a bit more understood and it helped me stop comparing myself to other people online."


Holly with her rescue dog Max

Holly with her rescue dog Max

Holly with her rescue dog Max

Holly also spoke about spending her first Christmas without her parents.

“Just before the pandemic my dad was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer and they would usually spend six months of the year in a small village in France,” she explained.

“They felt like, while things are not too bad here but might get worse, it was a good time for them to pack up our three family dogs, get on the ferry, and drive over to France.

"(This was) back in June and they were like, ‘it's alright, we'll see you guys at Christmas, we just think it's safer over there, we can cocoon in the house and dad will be fine."

However, as the covid infection rates soared, it became clear that Holly's parents could not come home.

“But then, the closer we got to Christmas, we realised the numbers were still so bad and we would have had to go through three airports to see my parents.

“My dad was very high risk so I went to my aunt and uncle's house and my brother went to his girlfriend’s house. I'll be 30 this year so it was the first time in almost 30 years I haven't had Christmas with them.

"It was very hard but I felt like there was a lot of people experiencing that and so it was just a really, really strange time.

“I had a lovely time with my cousins and everything but you just feel robbed of so many different experiences at the moment..and that's the kind of frustrating thing.”

Holly revealed how she adopted a dog called Max, “a gorgeous little schnauzer terrier cross” and that he “improved everything for me”,

“He gave me a sense of responsibility, you know, when it's raining outside and you're not feeling great he's there at the door scratching for his lead so you kind of have to get out.

“I think dogs are just such companions and he's been brilliant and of course I ended up adopting him.”

She also spoke out about ‘toxic positivity’ during lockdown, saying there was a lot of people at the beginning, “sharing posts about how we've got this, we can stick to this and we're all in the same boat.

“Firstly, I don't think we're in the same boat, given what people’s occupations are, if they have kids, where they're living, if they have a high-risk family member or anything like that.

“I think it can come across as quite entitled for people in a privileged position to be going, ‘why don't you just wake up every morning, do a 10K run, make this smoothie, write down your affirmations.

“I prefer a little bit of realism and I prefer to see people saying you know, ‘this is crap’, and it's actually oaky to admit that you're not happy right now.

“I don't think it's good to be consistently negative or anything like that but just to be honest and go, ‘guys this is really a tough’. It’s okay if you're angry, it's okay if you're frustrated and fed up. I kind of feel like that's a bit more helpful.”

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